On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: The Bachelorette.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I’ve never watched the show, but if it’s anything like this past weekend, I’ll be DVR-ing the next season.  I got to spend the last three days on the Cape with some of my absolute favorite people.  Equal parts low key and dancey, the weekend was absolutely perfect.

My sister and I picked up our cousin Katie from the train station Friday evening and made it to the Cape in record time, especially considering it was a holiday weekend.  We shared a bottle of wine and a game of Phase 10, before beginning the search for the ultimate “learn to dance like Michael Jackson” YouTube video and establishing the sole ground rule for the weekend (we only needed one):

If you say you’re going to do it, you have to do it.

I broke that rule first thing Saturday morning when I… um… forgot to wear my newly gifted clip-on veil on our run.  Colleen and Tina joined us shortly after we got back to the house, just in time for mimosas on the beach.  We enjoyed beautiful weather and perfect tides all weekend long.

Being a complete control freak person, I was anxious to know what was in store, and a bit nervous about the surprises the girls had in store.  Their thoughtfulness far surpassed anything I could have imagined.  My sister worked with Nick to create a guessing game/video, which was definitely a highlight of the weekend for me.  Not surprisingly, Nick and I had matching answers for most questions about one another, including how annoying my indecisiveness can be… and his questionable taste in music.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, though, as Nick talked about how excited he is to get married.

I am just so lucky.  For so many reasons.

Soon, our sweet ride was pulling up.  Katie connected with Jerry, owner of Cape Cod Limousine, and set up a fantastic evening for us.  Having a driver for the night was such a fun surprise.  We played with the overhead lights and music like a bunch of junior prom goers.  Our first stop was the Chatham Bars Inn for drinks by the gazebo as the sun was setting and a fabulous dinner in the tavern.

The roasted tomato soup was perfect for warming up (before donning a heavy Champagne jacket…).

After dinner, we made a quick stop at Land Ho! in Orleans.  I enjoyed a hard cider, a lap around the bar, and a quick lesson on life courtesy of the ladies room.

Jerry’s prediction that the scene at the Ho would be a bust proved true, though the band (and the band members’ hair) was quite good.  Sadly, our glow bracelets didn’t quite fit in.  And no one was dancing.  That was our cue to move on.

We took the express train limo to our old standby, the Woodshed, where we spend the rest of the night dancing, dancing, dancing, drinking and trying to avoid being danced on.  There was some aggressive elbowing taking place on that tiny dance floor.  The Boston Naturals played a great set and being surrounded by the girls had me smiling like mad.

I had to break out my flying squirrel costume (oh… doesn’t everyone have one?) before the night was over, but my attempt to sneak through the house resulted in a skinned knee.  You can’t win ’em all.  I am sure there are photos of Squirelizabeth, but I don’t have any.  Which is entirely fine by me.

Sunday morning, I slept later than I have in decades (possibly an exaggeration, but maybe not) and missed Colleen and Tina departing.  I had so much fun with them, and was glad they could both join us for part of the weekend.  Several of my friends and bridesmaids were traveling, moving, and attending weddings and though I certainly missed them, I felt their love from far away and appreciated all the texts and calls over the course of the weekend.

Katie, Andrea and I fit in another run before more time at the beach, more Phase 10, more MJ videos, and a trip to Kate’s.

Oh, and a beer can duel.  Because what’s a bachelorette party without Bud Light cans flying through the air?

I loved every minute of this weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • I went away and it was August… I came back and it’s September?!
  • Just moved to Boston?
  • Grocery shopping (sort of an emergency)

If you were in a cover band, what would be on your must-play list?


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Today: Sometimes the little things are the big things.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Today was bound to be one of those days.  I got to my desk bright and early so that I could head out for a doctor’s appointment.  I was scheduled for some testing, poking and prodding… not exactly my idea of a pleasant lunch break.

I had been up much of last night worrying, and the twenty minutes I spent waiting in the exam room alone didn’t help my anxiety.  I caught up on a few work emails and scanned the room for anything (those creepy body part diagram things were not helping) that might distract me from my own over-active imagination.  And there it was, a gift from the heavens (sort of): A Where’s Waldo book.

I have no idea what it was doing there, but man.  It was just what I needed.  In addition to being the perfect distraction, it was a great reminder that often it’s the little things that help the most.  Sometimes they turn out to be the big things.  They give us comfort when we’re worried, a lift when we’re down.  I couldn’t help but think about all the other little things that carry me through my days.

Like this photo I keep on my desk.  My dad took this photo of me in West Dennis when I was little.  I might be a creeper for having a photo of myself, but come on.  Look at how cool I was in my Barracuda jacket.  Relaxed, carefree and as smiley as ever.  This little photo, in its little frame, reminds me to be that version of myself more often.  Crises come up, deadlines approach, meetings are called… but life goes on.  And it goes much more smoothly when you’re grinning.

Speaking of grins, all it takes is a patch of grass to get this little guy smiling from one bat ear to the other.  Sometimes the little things do that for us.

And sometimes it’s the thought behind the little things that makes a big impact.  Like when a friend comes by with treats (those shortbreads, made locally in Essex, are to die for) because you’re having a tough week.  There’s no feeling quite like being cared for.

Similarly, there’s no feeling quite like laughing with good friends.  Our Team Off Balance crew has put group texting to good use before, during and after the Reach the Beach relay.  The system came in handy when a few of us were trapped in the ladies room at the New Balance factory in Lawrence prior to the race.  All it took was a little text to break us free, giggling all the way.  The laughs just keep on coming.

Maybe it’s a bendy straw, a good book, a walk with your better half, or a fresh-from-the-dryer pair of sweats.  Or maybe it’s all of the above.  I’m pleased to report that while today could have been one of those days, it was quickly salvaged by the little things.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • #RWRunStreak Day 2
  • Wedding chatter with my sister 🙂
  • Enjoying the first summer tomatoes

What are your favorite little things?


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Today: A Woods Hole afternoon.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]After picking up our race packets on Saturday afternoon and a failed trip to Pee Town (better known as the child and creepy adult-infested hotel pool), Nick and I took a quick drive down to Woods Hole for lunch on the waterfront and a bit of strolling.  I hadn’t been down that way in ages, but it wasn’t long before I had my bearings, remembering all the trips to the Vineyard we took as children, from the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole.

Rules to live by.

I don't give (half) a ship.

Even the post office is cute.

We walked past building after building belonging to the oceanographic institute and I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the old Voyage of the Mimi cast members were out and about, tracking humpback whales or collecting water samples or whatever it was they were doing back in the early 80’s.  Did anyone else watch that PBS series in fourth grade?  Remember Ben Affleck and the episode on hypothermia?  Brilliant.

We grabbed lunch at Shuckers and browsed at the co-op across the street, and paid a quick visit to the harbor seals at the aquarium.  What a vast improvement from the morning’s 30 second visit to the over-chlorinated pool area, complete with a strange man videotaping a game of Marco Polo.  I still don’t know why I thought that was a good use of the afternoon.  (Note to self: As my sister so perfectly put it, people who go to pools at the Cape are not beach people.  We are beach people.)

Perfect spot for a quick lunch.

The seal of approval.

Woods Hole is the perfect place to spend an afternoon (or longer, obviously).  It felt good to get some fresh air and stretch my legs a bit before heading back to Falmouth High School to watch the mile invitational races.  Watching people run a sub-4:00 mile was both mind-boggling and the perfect juxtaposition to a slow day of strolling by the sea.

Also On Tap for Today:

What does your perfect Saturday afternoon involve?


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Today: A quick escape to the Cape.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]A brief guide for your next trip over the bridge…

1. One thing you should always bring to the beach? Snacks.

Spider crabs for dinnah!

2. Matching isn’t mandatory at the Cape, but some pink petals alongside a pink chair does make life a bit lovelier.

This is the life.

3. Make at least one stop on your way back to the city.

Easy summer dinner.

4. (This is the most important one, so pay attention.) Repeat as soon as humanly…or caninely?… possible.

Enjoying the view!

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?


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Today: The vacation before the vacation.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]In Jersey Shore speak, this week feels a lot like the vacation before the vacation.  Next week is tee shirt time, and this week is the tee shirt before the (even more gaudy) tee shirt.  Even though I am working like a maniac this week (so that I can be a Maine-iac next week), I feel like I may as well be sippin’ a fruity mocktail and wearing my favorite Snooki shades.

 

I think I have all the sun and fun I had this past weekend– between a glorious 2nd of July on the Cape with my family, people watching at Chowderfest, and a fabulous 4th of July 10k and relaxing with friends— to thank for this frame of mind.  Seriously, I love summer.  I never want it to end.  Before you suggest I move to Florida though, I am talking specifically about summer in New England.  It can’t be beat.  The city comes alive as we all adopt our warm weather personalities.  I’m a complete pill 9 or 10 months out of the year, but when summer hits… bam!  I come out of hibernation and am ready to party.  Sort of.

This is what a page of Oprah Magazine (yes, really) looks like through the lens of an iPhone.

I have more energy to work out and less desire to wear black-on-black, I smile at strangers (but not in a creepy way), I crave fruit instead of cheese doodles, my hair could star in a series call Curls Gone Wild and I don’t even care, I feel more social and less like a hermit crab, and generally speaking… I’m just more fun to be around during the summer.

I read somewhere (probably wikipedia, let’s be serious) that Americans not only get fewer vacation days from employers, but we’re also less likely to use them than our European counterparts.  While I rarely use all of my vacation days, just knowing I am going to be in a land where my phone will basically work only for Snood purposes for an entire week, makes me feel pretty awesome (this begs the question– why did I have better AT&T service in Haiti than I do in Maine?).  No email, no phone calls, no Dropbox.  There was a time not so long ago that this scenario would send me into a spiraling freak-out.  I am not entirely sure what changed, but this much I know for sure:

  • My work will be here when I come back.
  • Fresh air breeds fresh ideas.
  • My office likely will not implode while I am gone.
  • Getting burnt out serves no one.
  • I look better with a few extra freckles (don’t worry, I wear 50+SPF).

I’m so smart.  Now if only I could land a reality television show that pays me $30k per episode to go to the gym, sun tan (responsibly, aka… not at all), and fold laundry…

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your personality’s favorite season?


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Today: Royal tea.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I was one of the freak-os up early enough to see Princess Kate in all her glory.  Except that I was up to go to a conference, not observe a royal wedding.  Boring.  Had I not been otherwise committed, I’d have been enjoying tea on the Cape. At 4:30 AM.

Maybe Prince Harry will consult my Outlook calendar before walking down the aisle.  One can only hope.

In other news, the Sibling Rivarly/Eversave winner is… Halle!

My sister and I are complete opposites which has led to many an argument. We fight like cats and dogs especially since we’re very close in age. However, for that exact same reason, we make an unstoppable team when we work together. We are rivals and best friends for sure.

Congratulations, William, Kate and Halle. 🙂

Also On Tap for Today:

Royal wedding: love it or leave it?


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Today: Gone to pot.

4/20 seems to have something to do with weed.  I don’t have much to add on the subject, but the Arabic word for grass is hasheesh, and our entire class of college juniors and seniors giggled our way through that chapter (which was about neighborhoods, and likely written for second graders).  Incidentally, one of the few expressions I remember (and can write) is small house.  Oh, and small pencil.  I think I can still write the alphabet.  I should double check.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] Anyway, I’ve got nothing interesting to say about pot, but I do have a story to share from this past weekend about pots.  In case you were one of the two people (my mom being the first) who noticed I posted nary a sentence this weekend, I was leading a weekend retreat on the Cape for fellow graduates of Jesuit universities (and other people who love St. Ignatius).  Yes, I know.  Sound the nerd alert.  On Saturday night, one of my co-leaders read a story about a cracked pot.  The story reminds us that what we perceive to be a flaw, may actually be a gift.

Breaking pots is fun.

The parable goes like this:



Cracked_potA water bearer had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer.  “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house.  Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?  That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it.  I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.  Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Nice, right?  I’m not sure who to credit, but this story is allegedly a Chinese parable..  so, um, thank you, People’s Republic of China.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Baking (which is different than getting baked)
  • Time to start a new Fitbook!
  • Planning a Pampered Chef party
Do you have a favorite parable?  Or fable?  Or pirate joke?